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Showing posts from July, 2015

I Don't Do Politics

Do not say that you don't do politics. It doesn't make sense.

Politics will affect you whether you are in it or not. So you better be in it and make the political arena much better with your presence. That doesn't necessarily mean that you become a politician (if you can, then by all means go ahead).

What it does mean is that you become a well-informed, critical, intelligent citizen who knows his/her rights, who upholds justice even if it's against his/her self-interest, who is more concerned with the truth than with what's best for me and "my gang", who loves this country, and who seeks improvements for all.

Don't confuse politicians with politics. Politics is the tool, like a car. Politicians are its users, like its drivers. When an accident happens, don't blame the car. But blame the drivers. When politics don't go its way, don't blame the tool. But blame the users.

Evaluate what you can do for your country and its people. Focus on what…

Let Me Motivate You

The word "motivation" comes from the root word "motive" which means that which inwardly moves a person to behave a certain way (Source: Online Etymology Dictionary).

Once in a while I get asked, to give motivation to people, like it’s a candy that I can just give out to people. But motivation is, by definition, an internal force that moves a person to do something. So really, in technical terms, I can’t motivate people. I honestly don’t know how.

I don’t have the ability to internally move people. I can externally move you, but that wouldn’t be motivation because it doesn’t originate from the inside.

So I can’t motivate people. In fact, I’m not even trying to motivate people. What I am trying to do is I want to help people motivate themselves. I want to help them help themselves. I offer people encouraging words for them to use to motivate themselves, if they want to.

If they don’t want to, then there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t force you to want something…

What's Best For You

We all want many things: we want that job, we want that scholarship, we want that promotion, we want to marry that person, we want to buy that house, we want to own that car, we want to have a child, we want to have a better child, and the list goes on and on. Our wants are endless.

The thing is, we might think that the thing that we want is what's best for us, but in reality it might not be. We are short sighted in how we see the world.

No matter how hard we try to predict how the future would be like, we still have no idea what will happen tomorrow or an hour from now or even a minute from now. That knowledge is Allah's domain, not ours.

But still, Allah encourages us to plan as a form of effort, not as a form of sealing the deal. We don't seal anything. We might think that if I have this thing, then my future would be better. But do we know that for sure, without a hint of a doubt?

In any type of human prediction, there's always doubt. For example, weather predic…

The Illusion of Invincibility

Last Ramadan, we received a few news about serious injuries caused by playing firecrackers. Sadly, many of these injuries (usually lost of limbs) happen to children. Playing with firecrackers has become a culture in Malaysia, and news about injury is pretty common, unfortunately.

Usually playing with firecrackers has something to do with Syawal and Eid, but I think the firecracker celebration comes earlier and earlier every year. This year, I heard someone playing on the first day of Ramadan. The first day.

Every year, it is highly likely that you would hear on the news about someone being injured or someone losing a limb because of firecrackers. Last year, a 2-year-old died because of it.

You would think that after all the exposure to this kind of news people would stop playing firecrackers, right? But then again, it is the same case with pretty much anything else that’s harmful to us.

Take smoking as an example. There are so many studies about the harmfulness of smoking, it is surp…

Be Thankful, Be Quiet

Some people might have the understanding that if you are thankful, then you should just accept whatever happens to you in the form of silence. You should not criticise. Just be thankful, and be quiet.

I am unfamiliar with that concept of thankfulness. The concept that I am familiar with is that thankfulness motivates you to contribute. When you are truly thankful, you have this positive urge inside to give back. You want to contribute.

Contribution doesn’t mean that you are passive. Contribution doesn’t mean that you remain silent when something unjust happens. That’s what we call cowardice, not contribution.

Contribution means that you are adding something positive or you modify something negative into a positive. You make the world into a better place, however small your contribution is.

Providing constructive criticisms is a part of contribution. The intention behind a constructive criticism is I want you to be better. Even though the criticism might sound negative to the listener…

When I Was Your Age

Someone asked me, “Why don’t I feel that it’s not Ramadan and it’s not Eid? The feeling and the atmosphere that I had when I was young was missing.”

When people asked me why they feel a certain way, it’s difficult for me to tell them what the reason is because I am not them. I don’t know what goes on inside of them.

I can’t tell you the reason for your feeling because only you know the reason. Because, it’s your feeling. Not mine. Having said that, what I can do is tell you a possible reason.

When you said that you don’t feel that it’s Ramadan and it’s Eid and when you said that the atmosphere that you had when you were young was missing, I can give one possible reason why that is.

Maybe, it’s because you are holding to a belief that things will stay the same, exactly how they are. Maybe you are holding on the sweet memories of childhood and you hope that the memories will keep on repeating themselves.

Putting the situation in that perspective, you can see why that belief may be a …

The Complexity of a Simple Cell

"Complexity is a property that is evident when encountered, but difficult to describe. For the present, we can think of complexity in terms of order and consistency. The more complex a structure, the greater the number of parts that must be in their proper place, the less tolerance of errors in the nature and interactions of the parts, and the more regulation or control that must be exerted to maintain the system. Cellular activities can be remarkably precise. DNA duplication, for example, occurs with an error rate of less than one mistake every ten million nucleotides incorporated—and most of these are quickly corrected by an elaborate repair mechanism that recognizes the defect."

(Source: Karp, Cell and Molecular Biology: Concepts and Experiments, 6e, Unit 1.2)

The paragraph above was taken from my Biology textbook. I was struck with awe at how something so minuscule could be so complex. If one reads with an eye of faith, one can't help but to think of God when contemp…

[SPONSORED] Asus ZenFone 2: Capturing Memories

I watched Ed Sheeran’s music video for his song “Photograph” when I had this idea; to document snippets of my child’s life.

It is easy to miss the growth of our child, even if he is right there in front of us. Reason? We don’t pay attention. Most of us are too busy with our work life that we wake up in the morning thinking about it, we go through the day in it, and we sleep in the night worrying about it.

Work is noble, but when work gets in the way of family, then we have to stop and ponder: is it worth it? Ironically, many of us work to provide for our family. Our family is the motivation behind our work. But the unintended consequence goes against our best intention in the first place.

We work to provide for our family, but our family doesn’t feel provided. In reality, many neglected children (even the rich ones) would feel a sense of emptiness inside without the care and the attention of their parents. Parents think that they can somehow fill the emptiness with physical provision…